Well somebody had to say it, and it might as well be me!
Demonstrating the power of parts bin engineering – a phrase I use respectfully, because it has given us some excellent bikes in the past – Indian have trimmed down their 1133cc Scout and reworked some elements to create the Scout Bobber, creating the bike that I’m sure a lot of people have been waiting for.
At first sight, it is a Scout with cut down mudguards, but there’s a lot more to it than that.
Starting with the frame, this is the first time that Indian have made the most of its sectional assembly, fitting a revised rear subframe to allow a shorter rear mudguard. It is also the first time we’ve seen a black frame and engine on the bigger Scout, which I think will be welcomed. With blacked out side cases too, it’s going to be mistaken for the Sixty motor, but the giveaway in determining a Scout’s engine size is the top cam cover: the Sixty is black, the 1133cc is chrome.
The Scout Bobber sits lower at the back – an inch, we’re told – which has reduced the suspension travel by an inch, but we have high hopes that the improved action of the 2017 shocks will mean that it is a smooth ride, rather than a return to the choppiness of the originals, but the front end retains cartridge damping and a full 120mm fork travel.
The big change though is cosmetics, with a lot of small changes going to make up a very different bike.
The most visual is the headlamp nacelle: super clean and a new look – losing the headlamp shell and cable tidy – and I’m not sure that it hasn’t raised the headlamp slightly. And immediately behind that are a pair of the most aggressive handlebars that we’ve seen on a Scout. Indian call them tracker bars, and combined with the block treads of the Indian-branded Kenda tyres, there is something of an off-road vibe to it. When combined with forward controls that position the feet an inch and a half further back, it will be a much more engaging ride – and it wasn’t too shabby before.
The black faced speedo is good to see: it was always a more visible configuration, particularly at dawn and dusk, and it looks right on the Scout Bobber.
You can’t fail to have your progress rearward interrupted by either the new tank badge, which really sets off the upper curve of the tank, or it might just be the louvred exhaust heatshields, but you will eventually get past the two-tone seat, in oxblood and black, to the abbreviated rear mudguard. And it is abbreviated, barely extending beyond the wheel spindle! The end of the bodywork is marked by the combined stop/tail/indicators that flank the rear wheel, or at least it is on the US model, with its sidemounted plate: we get a central mount on an open bracket the places the plate vertically behind the rear wheel and you can be sure that a lot of them will actually be on the top shelf of owners’ own parts racks within hours of taking delivery. Ditto the mirrors, and I truly don’t understand why we don’t get the neat round bar end mirrors.
It will be available in five colours when it is available at the end of 2017, and all but the Thunder Black and Thunder Black Smoke are 2-tones with a contrasting tank panel on the Indian Motorcycle Red and Star Silver Smoke and new Bronze Smoke schemes that fades out to the underlying paint
The Scout we’ve been waiting for?
We will know that when the UK price is announced – it’s $200 more than the regular Scout in the US, but we don’t know how that will translate yet, especially with the detail changes between the bikes – but it is certainly the Scout that some have eagerly anticipated, and an excellent starting point for realising your own custom ambitions.
It’s only a pity that it was a few months too late to be the third bike in the Forty-Eight, Bonnie Bobber and Scout comparison last issue!
|SPECIFICATION FOR EMEA MODEL|
|Engine Type||Liquid cooled V-Twin (60 degrees), DOHC,|
|Transmission||6-speed constant mesh|
|Displacement||69 cu in (1133cc)|
|Bore and Stroke||99 x 73.6mm|
|Primary Drive||Gear drive wet clutch|
|Final Drive||Belt, 2.357:1|
|Exhaust||Split dual exhaust|
|Wheels: F/R||16×3.5-inch cast / 16×3.5-inch cast|
|Tyres: F/R||130/90-16 73H / 150/80-16 71H|
|Brakes: F/R||298 mm Rotor with 2 Piston Caliper / 298 mm Rotor with 1 Piston Caliper|
|Forks||Telescopic with cartridge damping, 120mm travel|
|Rear Suspension||Swing-arm with dual shocks, 50mm travel|
|Seat Height||649mm (25.6″)|
|Ground Clearance||123mm (4.8″)|
|Overall Length||2229mm (87.8″)|
|Rake / Trail||29° / 119,9mm (4.7″)|
|Fuel Capacity||12.5l (2.75 Imperial Gallons / 3.3 US Gallons)|
|Weight: dry / wet||245kg (554lbs) / 255kg (533lbs)|